Dress Standards to Cinch Up Lax Student Attire

Starting this fall, do-rags, bed slippers and hot pants will not be allowed in class.

The Board of Trustees recently agreed to a dress standard for students to promote professionalism: The Millennial FAMUan Dress Standards. Faculty can deny admission to class and other facilities to students who violate the new rules.

“At Florida A&M, students should dress in a way that shows respect for not only themselves, but all other students,” reads the guidelines for the standard. “We believe Famuans would expect students attending the university to dress in such a way that would uplift their race, culture and professionalism.”

In the past, FAMU has been called the Fashion And Modeling University.

The university believes many students have pushed the limits of dressing from unique to inappropriate.

Student Body President Breyon Love said he believes setting a professional standard will further encourage a learning environment and sense of pride among students.

“This is a training ground for the professional world and dress is a large part of that,” Love said, who was a major proponent of the dress proposal.

Students can be denied access to classrooms, dining halls, offices, convocations and other university facilities and events if what they wear is “inappropriate.”

Some prohibited clothing under the new standards include pajamas, midriffs or halter tops, tube tops, cutoff T-shirts, scarves, caps, hot pants below waistline revealing undergarments, do-rags and/or hoods and bare feet.

With the policy being so newly implemented many students and faculty members are still unaware of the guidelines.

FAMU History Professor Kevin Eidhal, who had not yet heard of the dress standard, said the decision is “inherently subjective.”

Interim Dean of the graduate school Verian Thomas said she felt the dress standard was a good idea but expressed some concerns.

“We’re usually the last to know, while the students are often the first,” Thomas said. “Are we supposed to enforce it? Who is going to police it?”

Vice President of Student Affairs William Hudson Jr. said, “We are encouraging professors to discuss the implications of proper dress in the classroom and professional environment.”

Tyrek Smith, a 21-year-old electrical engineering student from Spartanburg, S.C., agrees that there are some students that push the limits with their wardrobe.

“If you can’t wear something in your momma’s house then you shouldn’t try to wear it out in public,” Smith said.

Although Smith agrees with the policy, he also believes that it is situational as well.

“As college students we are adults, and no one should have the power to turn me away from my education or access to anything on campus just because they feel as if I’m not dressed to their personal standard,” Smith said.

It is unclear whether the new standards will be well received. Love said he doesn’t predict any student backlash.

“We’re encouraging the right dress for the appropriate occasions while allowing freedom of expression,” Love said.